Having joined UNITE as Head of Resourcing to put an in-house function in place, my first port of call as an interim measure to assist with day to day recruitment was to engage eRecruit Solutions. UNITE had historically operated a hiring manager centric process with high agency-dependency at all levels due to lack of time, attraction tools and dedicated expertise – the process was painful, expensive and results were hit and miss.
Setting up a relationship with eRecruit was straight forward and the results were instantaneous. By working with them to identify the routes to market for a variety of vacancies from Housekeeping Assistant to Finance Director, over a 6 month period they have shown themselves to not only be experts in their field, but willing and able to adapt to the needs of our business in both the short and long term. So far their services have shaved between £1,000 and £2,500 off our cost per hire not to mention days of time involved in manually screening over 700 direct CVs per vacancy.
As our direct sourcing model takes hold within UNITE, eRecruit will continue to have a role with us as the provider of a swift, cost effective and flexible service which taps into a range of candidates pools unreachable to the average company.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their services as unflappable experts with a passion for delivery.
VIE at home
VIE at home
VIE at home is one of the leading direct sales companies in the UK, selling a wide range of cosmetics and skincare products through 10,000+ direct sales consultants and a transactional website.
VIE at home, formally Virgin Vie At Home, has recently been bought out by a management team led by Ros Simmons and Ratan Daryani who have both worked for the company since its fruition. Their strong belief in the direct sales model means that the new management team is well positioned to harness the full potential of the brand and business.
To continue the growth of VIE at home the new management team will continue to focus on and enhance the direct sales channel, which is the core of the business. To achieve this, they recently began a national recruitment campaign with eRecruit Solutions to recruit direct sales consultants throughout the UK.
When looking to recruit direct sales professionals throughout the UK, VIE at home faced a number of challenges. Yvonne Clay, Head of Brand at VIE at home explains “Recruiting direct sales professionals involves a lot of time and effort due to the way the direct sales model is structured. To advertise, and appoint a new direct sales representative can take a considerable amount of time”.
VIE at home has looked at expanding its national network of direct sales professionals through previous recruitment advertising in local/regional media, such as local newspapers and radio.
Clay explains further “Using local media to recruit regionally is an obvious idea but from our experience this can be very expensive, difficult to track and often does not give a good return-on-investment. Print advertising costs vary depending on the area you are recruiting within, and to research each regional media and source local readership figures is resource heavy”.
“As a company (formerly) under the Virgin umbrella, VIE at home benefits from a great deal of word-of-mouth recommendation and exposure. As a direct sales business a large part of our success is down to word-of-mouth, a strategy we were keen to use when recruiting in order to avoid high recruitment costs”.
With the need for an effective recruitment program capable of recruiting direct sales consultants, a low recruitment budget and the need for efficiency throughout the entire process, eRecruit Solutions was appointed to help manage a national recruitment campaign.
As a direct sales business, one of the most important issues VIE at home is the efficiency of operations. With a large number of direct sales staff, and a relative small number of back office workers, efficiency is key throughout the business.
Yvonne Clay, Head of Brand at VIE at home comments ”Operational efficiency is crucial to our business and applies equally whether we are dealing with skin care products or recruitment processes. Having to deal with multiple regional media departments, sign numerous advertising contracts and deal with a multitude of different advertising sales executives would have taken hours”.
Instead, VIE at home turned to eRecruit Solutions and Managing Director Dave Morgan. Morgan comments ”One of the many advantages we offer is a single contact point for companies looking to recruit throughout the UK. Rather than dealing with numerous regional media executives we advertise opportunities on a wide range of regional and national job boards, ensuring we reach the widest possible audience throughout the UK for our clients with a single point of contact, saving a lot of time and energy”.
Another important issue for VIE at home was measuring the return-on-investment of the recruitment campaign. As VIE at home was looking to recruit direct sales consultants throughout the country, measuring the number of applications from different regions in the UK and the quality of applications from different regions was very important.
Yvonne Clay explains further “Experience has taught us that using traditional recruitment advertising works well in some areas of the UK, but in others it falls short of the mark. Using eRecruit Solutions for all of our national recruitment and an online recruitment strategy has allowed us to reach the entire country simultaneously and directly measure the number of applications we have received from different geographies”.
In early 2009 VIE at home approached eRecruit Solutions, an innovative new flat-fee online recruitment business which helps organisations gain optimal exposure for their vacancies across a broad range of online recruitment resources.
VIE at home was recruiting for a number of commission based direct sales consultants throughout the UK and was looking to create a national recruitment campaign to communicate key messages regarding the VIE at home brand, explain the direct sales model and achieve a high number of qualified good quality leads in order to recruit the next generation of VIE at home direct sales consultants throughout the UK.
Dave Morgan, Managing Director of eRecruit Solutions comments “VIE at home needed a national recruitment campaign. With access to a network of hundreds of online job boards including Monster, TotalJobs, Fish4Jobs and Jobsite.co.uk, we were quickly able to draft and upload the opportunity onto a large number of online recruitment sites throughout the country”.
Morgan continues “The vacancy was written and approved within hours and was online for several weeks. It is difficult to put an exact number of the number of jobseekers that read the advertisement but we estimate it to be between 15,000 and 25,000 – a fantastic level of exposure for any business”.
Yvonne Clay, Head of Brand at VIE at home continues the story “Within a few weeks we had received ninety-nine CV s expressing a direct interest in becoming a VIE at home direct sales consultant. From just under one hundred applications received over 40% were deemed ‘highly desirable’ candidates”.
Clay continues “The ability to tap into eRecruit Solutions specialist online recruitment knowledge has saved VIE at home a lot of valuable time and expense. In the past few weeks we have recruited four direct sales consultants. We paid eRecruit Solutions a single flat fee, and the return-on-investment has been fantastic. We estimate we have saved over £6,000 in recruitment advertising costs”.
”New consultants are worth on average many thousands of pounds to the VIE at home business within any one year. The new consultants we have hired through eRecruit Solutions are a fantastic addition to the business. We have compared the use of eRecruit Solutions against other recruitment channels we have previously used and they have they produced the best results and the highest return-on-investment we have seen”.
Dave Morgan comments, “Since eRecruit Solutions began in 2008 we have helped hundreds of companies with their recruitment strategy. We are delighted to have helped a number of direct sales businesses such as VIE at home with their recruitment and look forward to working with them again in the future”.
Building Strong Foundations
Building Strong Foundations
Pick Everard is an independent multi-disciplinary architectural and engineering partnership. Established in the 1860s the business has nine regional offices in Bury St Edmunds, Derby, Galway, Glasgow, Inverness, London, Nottingham, Sligo and Taunton, with the UK head office based in Leicester.
With over 400 employees spread throughout the UK the staff of Pick Everard includes a wide range of professionals with skills to match the company’s comprehensive range of engineering, architectural and construction management services. They cover concept and feasibility studies through all stages of design, site supervision, project management, cost control & commissioning.
As a multi-disciplinary architectural and engineering business, Pick Everard relies on a talented and diverse team of employees. The business operates within a number of industries including health, education, industry, defence, central and local government, leisure, retail and financial services and as a result, demands employees from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets.
Csaba Princz, HR Assistant at Pick Everard comments, “The diversity of skills, backgrounds and experiences within the business is incredible and includes engineers, surveyors, environmental consultants, architects and many other professional services. However, from a human resources standpoint recruitment can be challenging due to the specialist nature of each position the HR team is asked to recruit for.”
Traditionally the Pick Everard HR team has approached specialist recruitment companies or has tried to recruit directly via advertisements within relevant trade publications.
Princz continues “In the past we have used specialist or general recruitment agencies to help fill vacancies. Although the quality of service is reasonably good, the costs for filling each vacancy are very high. A traditional recruitment agency will typically charge a high percentage of an employee’s first year salary. The professional and highly skilled workforce at Pick Everard means this is a very expensive option.”
“As a HR team we have also tried recruiting directly in order to cut out the fee we pay to recruitment agencies. This has also proven difficult due to the depth of specialist knowledge needed to recruit for a specific position, for example, knowing exactly what publication a structural engineer with over nine years experience reads. There are also the associated costs such as the advertisement design which can add up.”
The architectural and engineering industry is a competitive market and Pick Everard competes for talented staff with a number of multi-disciplinary construction consultancies and smaller independent practices. Due to the specialist skills and experiences needed within the business Pick Everard has traditionally recruited pro-actively due to the long lead times taken to fill vacancies.
“Long lead times are one of the most difficult issues we face in the HR team. Potential employees will often be on three-to-six month notice periods which mean the HR team has to plan well in advance.” Princz commented.
With a total of ten offices, located from Somerset to Glasgow, the geographic spread of the Pick Everard offices is also an important factor within the companies HR planning, as HR is centrally managed and co-ordinated from the company’s head office in Leicestershire.
“Recruiting for regional vacancies outside of the traditional big cities throws up its own challenges. As a HR team we have to think about potential candidates living locally to the office, and how to reach them, as well as recruiting nationally in order to attract the level of talent we need within the business. Helping relocate new employees is common but has an obvious time/cost implication as candidates may decide mid-way through the recruitment process they do not want to relocate. As a result, getting a good short list of potential candidates for any position is crucial, otherwise the HR team can waste a lot of time and effort” he says.
In 2008 Pick Everard approached eRecruit Solutions, an innovative new flat-fee online recruitment business which helps organisations gain optimal exposure for their vacancies across a broad range of online recruitment resources. At the time Pick Everard was recruiting for a specialist Graduate Engineering role and needed a quick response.
Dave Morgan, Managing Director of eRecruit Solutions comments, “Pick Everard needed to source candidates for the position quickly and effectively. They needed to reach as wide an audience as possible due to the specialist nature of the vacancy and so needed national exposure. eRecruit Solutions were able to take a brief from Pick Everard and write and tailor a web-enhanced advertisement.”
Morgan continues, “The vacancy was on-line within hours and was featured on a range of leading web based recruitment sites including Jobsite, TotalJobs and Fish4Jobs, as well as numerous other generalist and ‘niche’ job sites. Pick Everard were soon sent over 15 relevant, pre-screened applicants and were quickly able to select the top candidates to interview.”
Csaba Princz comments, “The ability to tap into eRecruit Solutions’ specialist on-line recruitment knowledge has saved the business a lot of valuable time. The vacancy was on-line quickly and effective and allowed us to begin receiving applications immediately, rather than waiting for specific publications to be printed and distributed. The number of on-line recruitment sites that our vacancy was advertised on meant we received a fantastic response rate from job hunters who otherwise would not have seen our own advertisement.”
Princz continues, “The time the HR department has saved, and the speed of the responses we have received has been excellent, however the eRecruit Solutions fee structure is the cherry on the cake. For a flat fee of £499 eRecruit Solutions wrote and designed the advert, placed the vacancy on numerous recruitment web sites, managed and screened all of the applications and liaised with us throughout the entire process to make sure the candidates we were receiving were appropriate, offering to amend the process if not.”
Dave Morgan, Managing Director of eRecruit Solutions comments, “Since we first began working with Pick Everard we have filled numerous other positions for the business. We are delighted to have helped such an interesting business and look forward to a healthy ongoing relationship.